Thursday, August 11, 2011

app review: "what to expect"

i'm not ashamed to say that i am completely reliant on my iphone. i love that there's an app for everything, and that that includes pregnancy. actually, there are hundreds of pregnancy apps - a genuinely dizzying array. i'm still looking for the best one(s), but i thought that while i searched i'd review them so you guys can get something out of my addiction very thorough research.

the first app i downloaded when i discovered i was pregnant was what to expect: pregnancy, from the what to expect when you're expecting lot. it's one of the most well known pregnancy books, so i figured the app would be a mine of useful information and practical advice.

how wrong i was.

while the 'tracker' tab offers a useful enough reminder of exactly where you're up to in your pregnancy, and the ubiquitous fruit-to-baby comparison that i admittedly make use of on this blog, it doesn't have any unique features that can't be found elsewhere.

and it's all downhill form there.

the 'weekly' information tab offers general information about where mother and baby are up to - milestones and suchlike. while some of this information is interesting, most of it is extremely generic, and presented in such a patronizing tone that it's enough to make me shudder. there is a huge amount of fat-phobia, and gender stereotyping worked in as well, which is pretty offensive.

then we come to the daily updates, which i have come to call my "advent calendar of fail".

each day, in the 'daily' tab you get a little one-page piece of advice or information. this sounds like a great idea, but unfortunately, the writers of the app didn't bother to come up with enough content to make each day's offering unique. you only have to read every day for a week to notice that much of the information is rehashed and recycled from previous days, and the whole thing starts to get samey very quickly.

the information given makes gross gender stereotypes, assuming that women are interested in nothing but food (or more specifically, how not to eat too much of it), fat, going to the gym, and our appearance. the occasional "for dad" pages, are even more offensive than the rest. first they make the assumption that all pregnant women are partnered with a man, and they go on to talk to that generic 'man' as though he is a moron with no empathy, insight, or genuine interest in what his partner is experiencing. i've put two classics below, just to show you that i'm really not exaggerating:
"she doesn't let her job, other kids, or leisure pursuits to occupy her mind! all she thinks about is her body, and how horrible it is to be fat. so you'd better stop calling her 'lardy-mcporkarse' or she'll never stop crying."

"look, guys, i know seeking consent is boring, but you're going to have to suck it up while she's pregnant, ok? try to contain your manly urges even if those giant norks are making you think she's asking for it."

the 'photos' tab is just for storing your own photos of your belly or your ultrasounds, which i tend to do elsewhere anyway (i.e. here!), and the 'forums' tab is a self-promoting link to their own website's forums.

i wouldn't recommend this app to anyone, unless they enjoy laughing bitterly at ignorance and idiocy.


  1. When we were in labour we used an app called contraction master to monitor the space between contractions! When we got to the hospital they asked for info and I just thrust my phone at her, she was very impressed!
    Then when I was nursing, we used nursing master to monitor length of feeds and which side etc...
    Phones have taken over our world!

  2. I hope you've submitted this review to the app store!

  3. I like the app Baby Bump. It does still have some of those problems but seems like it's a lot less offensive. It does still have 'dad' things where it should be 'partner' but I haven't seen any gross stuff like the breast example page you posted there! You can access most of the app for free, I only paid for it last night to see what the birth plan stuff was.

    I got told by a lot of people not to read the WTEWYE book, so I haven't read it even though I bought it when I was TTC so avoided their app too.

    My fav pregnancy thing is because it gives percentage completed and average weights of the baby that particular day. It's pretty simple but I'm loving seeing the weights and percentages change.

    I also have the My Baby app which I loved for a while for the sciencey development stuff, but I got a bit sick of it so haven't looked at it for a while. It's kind of cool though, I think that was free. I also have PregBuzz but that kind of sucked, it's just a question and answer type thing.

    An awesome one for breast-feeding and medication has just come out, also free and that's called LactMed. And Toilet Map has been essential too!

  4. @loralou - they both sound like really useful apps!

    @hope - i should - good idea!

    @tanya - thanks for the recs - i will check them out :)